Project 13: Public Understandings of the Legacies of Transatlantic Slavery

Fellow:  Winston Phulgence
Supervision:  Dr. Jonathan Finch
Host Institution:  Department of Archaeology, University of York
Duration:  3 years – starting from 1 June 2012

This project will explore how the transatlantic slave trade and its legacies have been memorialised around the former Atlantic world. Particular attention will be placed on acts of commemoration, commissioned memorials, pedagogical materials, exhibitions, and heritage tourism in Europe, West Africa, North America and the Caribbean. The research will use a comparative methodology to determine the strategies used in these various geographic locations, responding to particular cultural, political and socio-historical contexts. Furthermore a focus will be placed on determining degrees of public engagement with these contested histories, as well as the public’s role in influencing heritage creation. Overall this project seeks to understand how narratives of the transatlantic slave trade in the public sphere are mediated by individuals and institutions in conjunction with wider national discourses on history and its legacies in the present day.

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